Landing The Job Interview: 10 Dos and Don’ts
Creating a proper resume listing relevant hard & soft skills is an important part of obtaining any job you seek. Your resume gets you in the door, but your job interview effectively seals the deal on getting officially hired. Interview skills are natural for some people but must be learned by others. Is a resume or interview more important in 2021? What are the biggest job interviews dos & don’ts I need to master to get hired for the job of my choice?
Making a strong, positive impression during a job interview is as important if not more important than the information included in your resume. It is important to display a personality and soft skill sets comparable to those your personal/professional references state you have. What are some of the best ways to prepare for a job interview, especially during modern times? Read ahead for an important guide to the top 10 job interview dos and don’ts for 2021.
Resume or Interview—What’s More Important?
Your resume is a written representation of what you offer as an employee and who you are as a person. A strong resume gets you in the proverbial door but will have to be followed up with an equally strong—or, even stronger—job interview to land the position you seek.
Your resume is important because it lists hard and soft skills you possess to the prospective job position. It’s the first impression a potential employer will have of you, all fit into one sheet of paper. It’s your first opportunity to show potential employers the experience and skills you have that make you the perfect candidate.
Hard skills relate to specific skill sets and training you have applicable to the needs of the position. For example, computer programming and coding are hard skills necessary to obtain an IT job, i.e. a job in the Information Technology sector.
Soft skills are related to your people, communication and leadership skills. Soft skills speak to who (and how) you are as a person, and how well you will fit in with a company’s working environment.
While a well-crafted resume makes an excellent impression on paper, employers will sometimes want to validate the information you give to them on your resume with personal and professional references, and most importantly, a job interview.
A job interview is important because it follows up on information written on your resume in person. During your job interview, you have the chance to prove the information on your resume is not only accurate, but also understates the value you bring to the table when communicating in person. A job interview puts your personality and energy in full view of prospective employers and either locks in your new employment status or gets you rejected.
Job Interviews – Top 5 Dos
Many positive job interview habits help you get the job you are after. Some work better than others. The top 5 dos for job interviews are:
1. Prepare, Prepare & Prepare
Preparation is key to successful job interviews. What is your company looking for new employees? What is the company’s history? Knowing what you are walking into helps you prepare. Preparation also means practicing your lines, what to emphasize and what to not.
2. Be Appropriately Punctual
Be early for your job interview but not too early. Arrive in enough time to be interviewed early if your interviewer requests it but not so early to make you appear desperate. Arrive in enough time to also go over your resume and (prepared) notes prior to entering the building.
3. Use Confident Body Language
Using confident body language helps win jobs. Be confident, but not arrogant. Sit up with proper formal posture, but also without rigidity. Show you can maintain your strengths while also deferring to the strengths (and authority) of your interviewer.
4. Highlight your Strengths
Highlighting your strengths is also important. The strengths you highlight must match those listed on your resume both in work and action. Highlighting your strengths in the proper way also highlights your personality, effectively letting your employer learn about you faster.
5. Make it About What You Offer, Not What You Need
Make the job interview about what you offer the company and not what you need as a potential employee. If your interviewer asks you direct questions about salary expectations, hours availability or what attracts you to the company – answer politely and succinctly. Be prepared to answer questions about your needs but allow them to be asked as opposed to breaching the topics yourself.
Job Interviews: Top 5 Don’ts
Numerous detrimental job interview habits prevent you from getting the job you desire. Some are more damaging than others. The top 5 don’ts for job interviews is:
1. Don’t Use Your Phone
Turn off your phone while waiting prior to your interview, and for the entire time you are engaged in the interview. Using your phone displays a lack of concentration & commitment, even if untrue. Always stay off your phone – it truly is unneeded during a job interview and might cost you a job offer.
2. Don’t Interrupt Your Interviewer
Listen intently and wait out statements made by your interviewer. Do not interrupt your interviewer for any reason. Take mental notes of all responses you need to make and wait your turn to speak.
3. Don’t Ask About Drug Tests/Background Checks
Most companies in 2021 conduct employee drug & criminal background checks. Do not ask about them unless your interviewer breaches the topic. Asking prematurely makes it look like you are covering up drug use or crimes, even if untrue.
4. Don’t Speak Negatively About Current/Former Employers
Don’t speak negatively about current/former employers. This causes the interview to think you will do the same about him/her or their company. Prepare statements about why you are seeking new employment using only positive tones/verbiage.
5. Don’t Lie
Never lie about your job or other history. In 2021 it is incredibly simple to learn the truth about people. Speak only the truth about yourself and omit what is neither relevant nor beneficial to your cause.